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BOSTON '9$ 



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Get in touch with your community 

with the 

Interactive Video Bulletin Board 



THE CHANNEL THAT TAKES REQUESTS: 

• Lets viewers choose what they see. 

• Handles up to 999 topics of any length. 

• Prints reports of what viewers choose. 

• Gives documented proof of viewership. 

• Uses PC word processor files as input 

• Fast, easy setup and maintenance. 

• Now in use in over 27 U.S. cities. 



( What current owner-operators say about N 
^ the Interactive Video Bulletin Board: J 

"I can watch it taking calls from my office, and know 
that we're serving the community. The feedback helps 
us understand our viewing audience's likes and 
dislikes." 

-David Vogel, General Manager, 
Community Television of Knoxville 



"Since placing the system in service, we have seen a 
community response that now exceeds 18,000 inquiries 
per month. The Interactive Video Bulletin Board has 
become an integral part of our community service 
program" m jan N mee i er £xecuf/Ve Director, 

Fairfax Cable Access Corporation 

"Since installing the Interactive Video Bulletin Board, 
we've gotten more interest and participation from non- 
profits than we had in the last 10 years. It's less work, 
more effective, and it's fun for viewers to use! B 

- Lynn Carillo-Cruz, Former Executive Director, 
Quote...Unquote t Albuquerque 



"It's the lowest-cost, highest-impact service we offer to 
local non-profits. During September...participating 
organizations reported that an average of 65% of their 
calls resulted from viewership of the Interactive Video 
Bulletin Board." 

- Barbara Popovic, Executive Director, 
Chicago Access Corporation 



For a brochure and videotape, contact: 

INTERACTIVE PUBLICA TIONS 

1651 N. DAYTON STREET, SUITE 306, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60614 
312-642-0884 • FAX: 312-642-1735 




Volume 18, No. 3 

CMR EDITORIAL BOARD 
Dirk Koning, CHAIR 
Sally Alvarez, Mary Bennin Cardona, Hans 
Klein, Greg Smith, Vel Wiley, 
Brian Wilson 

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF THIS ISSUE 
Dirk Koning 

COORDINATING EDITOR 
Jim Peters 

NATIONAL OFFICE 

Barry Forbes, Executive Director 
Jeffrey Hops, Director, 
Government Relations 
Kelly Matthews, Director of 
Member Services 

ALLIANCE for COMMUNITY 
MEDIA 
BOARD of DIRECTORS 

Alan Bushong, CHAIR 
Ann Flynn, VICE CHAIR 
Velvaiee (Vel) Wiley, TREASURER 
Greg Vawter, SECRETARY 
Brian A. Wilson, CHAIR OF 

REGIONAL CHAIRS 
Ruben Abreu, Randy Ammon, 
Barbara Bryant, Judy Crandall, Sue Diciple, 

Ron Fitzherbert, Vince Hamilton, 
Mike Henry, Kathleen Greenwood, James 
Horwood, Carl Kucharski, Paul LeV alley, 
Debbie Mason, Julianne Murray, 
Anthony Riddle, Gladys Rogers, 
David Vogel, DIRECTORS 



ALLIANCE 
FOR 

COMMUNITY 
MEDIA 

Community Media Review [ISSN 1074- 
9004] is published by the Alliance for Commu- 
nity Media, Inc. (formerly the National Fed- 
eration of Local Cable Programmers) Subscrip- 
tions $25 a year for five issues. Send subscrip- 
tions, memberships, address changes, editorial 
and advertising inquiries to the Alliance for 
Community Media, 666 11th St. NW, Suite 806, 
Washington, DC 20001-4542. Phone 202/393- 
2650; Fax: 202/393-2653. E-mail 
AllianceCM@aol.com. 

Bulk orders for additional copies considered 
individually. Contact the national office for 
information on rates and delivery. 

Copyright ©1995 by the Alliance for Com- 
munity Media, Inc. (formerly the National 
Federation of Local Cable Programmers). 
Prior written permission of the Alliance for 
Community Media required for all reprints or 
usage. 




/ 

Community ^ 

In this Issue 

the Technology^ 

^Revolution 

Boston J 95! 

Alliance for Community Media 
News & Updates 

The Sea of Activism and Change by Alan Bushong 4 

Greetings from our new Board Chair 

Organism Internet by Dirk Koning 5 

Global computer network biologically familiar 

Twelve Tips for Influencing Congress through the Local Media 

by Jeffrey Hops 6 

How to put your facility on the map in your community 

The Alliance Web Site by Kari Peterson 7 

ACM Gearing up to launch official WWW pages 

Trainers' SIG by Julian Ross Braver and jesika maria ross 8 

Special Interest Group focuses on media instructors 

Extending Our Work to the State Level by Alan Bushong 9 

To succeed, catch the attention of your state officials 

Information is Power 9 

A Message from the National Office 

1995 -1996 ACM Board of Directors 16 

The newly elected board 

Dangerous TV by Chuck Peterson..... 18 

Lessons learned while defending the first amendment 

Alliance Goes to Supreme Court Press Release from Alliance 
National Office 19 

Alliance takes cable censorship argument to Supreme Court 



Boston '95! 



Community Media: Thriving in the Technology Revolution by 
Rika Welsh 10 

An overview of the ACM's 1995 annual conference and trade show 

Hometown Video Festival Winners 12 

The complete, official list 

Communication, Adaptation and Evolution by Bob Russell .... 14 

The 1995 conference keynote speech 



Cover illustration by Archie Miller. 



Planning for Success 
The Sea of Activism and Change 



By Alan Bushong 

I'm honored by my election to the 
position of Alliance for Community 
Media Board Chair! I'm looking forward 
to a great year of working with the Alliance 
Board, staff, members and constituents of 
community media. In partnership we can 
work to see democracy flourish by 
ensuring everyone access to electronic 
media and promoting effective communica- 
tion, 

I don't think any of 
us will forget Tony 
Riddle's powerful 
closing speech at the 
tremendous 1995 
National Conference in 
Boston. Throughout his 
two years as Chair, Tony 
continually provided 
dramatic, insightful and 
often poignant reflec- 




Alan Bushong 



tions on how our work has a daily, direct 
impact on the lives of those in our commu- 
nities. I hope to also bring this quality to 
the position of chair. 

In partnership we work overtime to 
represent the interests of Alliance mem- 
bers and constituents in communities 
across the country who both communicate 
and receive information through commu- 
nity media. 1994 George Stoney Award 
winner Mike Greenburgh of Shea & 
Gardner said it best in Boston; we in 
public interest work are running a mara- 
thon. To be successful, we must plan to go 
the distance — not for a series of bursts or 
dashes. 

We build on some great Alliance 
successes of the past two years, including: 

# generating 80% of the grass roots 
support for public interest provisions 
considered in federal telecommunica- 
tions legislation in 1994; 

# gaining supportive language in 1995 
legislation; 

# challenging censorship provisions of 
the 1992 Cable Act. 

This work is no coincidence. The 
Alliance knows that members need 
effective representation in Washington 
D.C. in Congress, at the FCC and in the 
courts. To that end, the Alliance Board 
Committee in 1994 identified public policy 



work as key to delivery of our mission, and 
identified the following strategies: 

* framing the debate; 

# pursuing a supportive legal and 
regulatory environment; 

• building coalitions; 

• supporting local organizing. 

In 1995, working together with our 
excellent staff, the Alliance Board has 
adopted the following key objective: 
The Alliance will work to 
pass, by 2001, the federal 
Telecommunications Access 
Act, which would guarantee 
every person free or low-cost 
access to producing or 
receiving multi-media 
information over any public 
network or distribution 
network which uses public 
rights of way, by providing 
community-based organiza- 
tions with the needed funding 
mechanisms, capacity 
interoperability, technical informa- 
tion and accessibility. 
We've recognized that coalition- 
building is a method to accomplish our 
strategies, which otherwise are unchanged 
from 1 994. Gaining supportive federal 
legislation to start the 21st century is an 
exciting objective! 

Our marathon work is over twenty 
years in progress, but unlike the 26-mile 
marathon, 26 is not a magic number of 
years for us. The story of community 
media is the story of an ongoing 
grassroots struggle to carve out communi- 
cations opportunities. 

Originally, the path was cleared by 
those in the major social movements of the 
1960's. Those seeking civil rights, equal 
rights for women and an end to the 
Vietnam War recognized their inability to 
communicate their views through cen- 
trally-controlled commercial media. We 
rode on their coattails for a long time, 

With the ongoing rush of mergers and 
further centralization, people's need to 
represent themselves is greater than ever. 
We need to educate and involve elected 
officials and our constituents, and we need 
the active work of both in creating a 
supportive environment. In some areas, we 



are already succeeding. Our 1995 success 
in gaining supportive provisions in Senate 
telecommunications legislation was 
directly due to the hard work of Massa- 
chusetts members who in turn had long 
histories of service to their communities 
and relationships with elected officials. 

Activism is all around us. Political 
parties, church groups, labor unions, the 
Christian Coalition, the NAACP, pro- 
choice supporters, pro-life supporters, the 
business community, and environmental- 
ists are just a few examples of groups who 
actively pursue their needs— groups who 
are activists. 

Still, I sense a hesitancy for us to 
embrace the role of activist. At the recent 
(and superb) Central States Regional 
Conference in Dayton, Ohio, 1 asked how 
many attendees considered themselves 
activists. A fairly small number raised their 
hands— probably a typical response from 
our members. 

Perhaps it is the term activism, which 
carries the stigma of being part of subver- 
sive, violent activities. Yet looking at the 
activists of today, that label has no 
validity. Success in American politics 
requires activism. 

American politics are driven by two 
main factors: money and numbers of 
voters. The telecommunications environ- 
ment is dominated by enormous, powerful, 
wealthy corporations, Although the 
Alliance does not have the money to 
compete, the Alliance does represent the 
interests of a million people using commu- 
nity media nationwide, and millions more 
who are provided unique and valuable 
community information. It is through the 
voices of these millions to their elected 
officials that we can succeed in protecting 
their rights. 

The Alliance is part of a noble cause. 
The Allliance is here for everybody. Our 
agenda is to empower people to speak for 
themselves, and to increase the diversity 
of information sources. Let's work together 
as activists in 1996 as we run another mile 
of our marathon. 

Alan Bushong is Executive Director 
of Capital Community Television in 
Salem, Oregon, as well as the Chair of the 
Alliance for Community Media. 



4 CMR 



Organism Internet 




Before we get too far down the road 
of the Information Superhighway 
analogy, I want to suggest another 
It's easy to see the value in the highway 
analogy when it comes to a simple 
visualization of what is developing as a 
phenomenally complex maze. One main 
problem with equating the developing 
worldwide information infrastructure to 
ribbons of cement is 
that super- 
highways 
are dead. 
More 
appropri- 
ately: inani- 
mate. The information 
era is alive and multiplying on thousands 
of concurrent le vels like the spread of 
cancer. Not only that, the organic maze is 
being choked by the exponential growth of 
information kudzu. 

Try this one on for size. The Informa- 
tion Circulation System. 

We've got veins and arteries out there 
pumping information like blood around the 
organism: Earth. We need the heart for 
power and we need the head for control. 
A certain balance is required for optimal 
health. In other words you can't pump too 
much information through the veins or you 
increase the blood pressure and risk 
system shutdown. Too much non- 
digestible information creates risks of 
communication cholesterol. Not enough 
quality associated with the relative 
quantity and iron-poor communication 
results. And we need to realize the 
importance in having capillaries burrow 
throughout the community /organ ism at 
large, to insure the health of every 
extremity, Wholesale blood flow stoppage 
to any appendage could ultimately spell 
doom for the general organism . Certainly 
there will be rich, healthy pockets develop- 
ing and an ever-changing array of new 
extensions growing and some dwindling. ■ 

The Information Circulation System 
model seems to be far more realistic based 
on what is happening and has the founda- 
>fN. tional structure to 

accommodate longer 
term development. 
Another reason I think 
the analogy works 
better is because it is 
based on the funda- 
mental development 
of the very technol- 
ogy used. For 
instance, we are moving 



by Dirk Koning 





information as light. Historically we can 
trace the roots of all life on Earth to that 
very same process. (Sunlight impregnat- 
ing the thin incubator band above the 
Earth called the atmosphere, creating 
warmth and power and being converted 
through photosynthesis to blend with 
local properties to create growth and life.) 
In some strange way it's as if we have 
created some evolu- 
tionary 

feedback 
i loop that 
involves 
light as 
knowledge 
and knowledge as light 
and light as knowledge and... 

Albert Einstein's genius extends far 
beyond physics and quantum mechanics. 
He offered many quotes and formulas to 
describe science and simultaneously knew 
they had vast social science applications 
as well. One that applies nicely to the 
above mentioned notion follows: 
As a circle of light increases 
So does the 

Circumference of darkness 

Around it 
If you equate light to knowledge or 
information, it clearly 
demonstrates the well 
known adage, "the more 
you know, the more you 
realize how much you 
don't know." When 
people ask me where we're 
going with this Information 
Circulation System, I'm 
quick to respond, "I don't 
know," 

The common conver- 
gence of all information 
traffic to binary coded ■^^^■IH 
pulses of ones and zeros is 
turning traditional providers inside out. 
The historical empires built around specific 
delivery mechanisms and on spectrum 
scarcity could crumble as fast as vinyl 
records. A strong Information Organism 
will consider the evolution of its Informa- 
tion System in the same light as its other 
sustaining systems: water, sewage and 
electricity. The Latin sub-root for both 
Community and Communication is, "to 
share." Communities form to share goods, 
services and systems for the combined 
benefit of the whole. As the Information 
Circulation System grows, host organisms 
should consider the community value of 
owning the veins and arteries and allow- 




"It's not how 
much information 
you can collect, 
but how little you 
have to process 
for the wisdom 
desired." 



ing, through broad- 
band leases, the free 
flow of content. 

And what of 
content? Very few 
people seem con- 
cerned about the 
exponential growth of 
content due to informa- 
tion technology. 
Most seem to be 
embracing the 
notion as if to stand 
on shore, arms out- 
stretched to hug an 
approaching tsunami 
because we like water. 
What of the distinction 
between Data, Information, 
Knowledge and Wisdom? More data is 
just that, more data. Somehow it needs to 
be assembled to form information. Okay, 
easy enough. The ones and zeros of data 
are reassemble into words, sounds and 
pictures. Now, how do we edit the vast 
array of information to build knowledge? 
And then what magical mix is required to 
perpetuate wisdom? I don't know. If you 
look at the traditional paths to wisdom, 
they are almost exclusively established on 
the notion of limiting informa- 
tion to a few critical kernels 
that lead to universal truths. 
Colleges carefully craft 
curricula to focus like a laser 
on fields of knowledge, 
eliminating "non-essential or 
unrelated" data. The whole 
legal system is based on 
specifically narrowing the 
field of available information, 
past case law and hearsay, to 
arrive at the justice of truth. 
^^^^H So is more better-or just 
more? It seems the most 
critical skill required in the information age 
is that of editor. It's not how much 
information you can collect, but how little 
you have to process for the wisdom 
desired. In a recent dream, a Yoda-like 
character in a three piece pin striped suit 
waved his finger at me with the deftness of 
a great scholar, and said slowly, "The 
future, my son, is in storage and retrieval." 

Neil Postman in Technopoly pub- 
lishes a story Socrates tells a friend based 
on Plato's Phaedrus about Thamus, the 
king of a great city of Upper Egypt. Here it 
is: 

"Thamus once entertained the god 

See Organism, page 20... 



Power, Politics & Public Relations 
Twelve Tips for Influencing 
Congress through the Local Media 



by Jeffrey Hops 

The Power of Public Relations. My 
first job after college taught me the 
power of public relations. At CBS 
Television City in Los Angeles, I helped to 
churn out the daily output of publicity 
releases. Shortly after starting there, 1 
began to see that CBS's public relations 
efforts (including "fluff pieces) were 
showing up in the press and people's 
conversations, and were indeed affecting 
what people saw and thought about in real 
life. I eventually realized that everything I 
knew about Ted Turner, the Disney Co., 
David Hasselhoff or the government of 
Mexico was due in part to a phalanx of 
public relations executives. 

Washington DCs Obsession with 
Public Relations. Washington, too, has an 
obsession with public relations, for two 
reasons. The first reason is power. Or, more 
accurately, the appearance of power — 
which is power. Groups are involved in the 
political process only if they are perceived 
as having the necessary votes, money, 
organization, and public support. Con- 
versely, invisibility is impotence-and 
groups are excluded if they fail to draw 
decisionmakers ' attention. 

The second reason for this obsession 
is that public relations does sway popular 
attitudes and, consequently, voter 
behavior. A good public relations cam- 
paign can turn a Senator's support for an 
issue from negative to positive, or (particu- 
larly relevant to the Alliance for Commu- 
nity Media) turn anon- is sue into some- 
thing important enough to potentially 
change people's votes. 

Political Advocates to Public Rela- 
tions Specialists. Thus far, the Alliance 
has achieved significant legislative 
victories without a sophisticated public 
relations campaign or high visibility. The 
next stage of our battle, however, is not 
likely to be so easy. The Regional Bells 
Operating Companies (RBOCs) are 
probably expecting the House to adopt the 
Senate's virtually non-existent PEG access 
language. That's because they perceive us 
as an adversary that they can roll over in 



their sleep. We must wake them up. 

Alliance members throughout the 
country need to become not just political 
advocates (at w hich most of our members 
have been doing a terrific job) but public 
relations specialists as well. In order to win 
the next round in Congress, we must let 
our local broadcast and print media outlets 
know who we are, what we're doing, who's 
participating, and who's watching. With 
the assistance of Mary ^^^^^^^^ 
Clayton Crozier of 
Boston Neighborhood 
Network, I've developed 
the following tips to help 
you sway local public 
opinion — and ultimately 
increase the visibility of 
our issues in Washing- 
ton DC... 

Alliance for 
Community Media 
Public Relations Tips. 
The focus of our 
message should be that 
community access is 
keeping the spirit of our 
local communities al ive ■■■^^^H 
or, more succinctly, 

"Community Access supports the life of 
our communities." 

Tip #1 : Develop a press mailing list. 

This list should consist of every entertain- 
ment and/or telecommunications and/or 
civic affairs reporter in your area. Also 
include in your press lists community/free/ 
advertising circular papers and college 
papers and radio stations. These papers 
are hungry for pre-written copy and story 
ideas. 

Tip #2: Try to issue a press release at 
least twice a month. You should already be 
issuing press releases on specific program- 
ming you think will be of interest to the 
larger community. However, the subject 
matter need not always be "news." A 
profile of a local user access user who is 
doing something interesting, creative, or 
socially conscious is enough. Include 
black and white photos of the producer or 
a frame of the video-community newspa- 



"I eventually realized 
that everything I knew 
about Ted Turner, the 
Disney Co., David 
Hasselhoff or the 
government of Mexico 
was due in part to a 
phalanx of public 
relations executives..." 



pers love running pictures with captions 
as a way of giving added vitality to their 
paper. Try to work the PEG access mes- 
sage into the text and overall content of 
the release. 

Tip #3: Distribute your monthly 
programming schedules widely. Be sure to 
send copies to your press list as well as 
your Senators, member of Congress, state 
legislators, city and county officials, and 
Public Utility Commis- 
sioners. 

Tip #4: Use 
your channel's bulletin 
board. Virtually every 
access center has a 
community bulletin 
board which they use 
during non-program- 
ming hours. This can 
be an important place 
to put messages 
supporting the concept 
of PEG access as 
important to community 
life. 

Tip #5: Use 
I^^^HH^H your channel for PEG 

access PSAs. Ask your 
producers to produce 30-second spots 
about why PEG access is important to their 
organization's work or art. Public figures 
(congresspeople, state legislators) are 
especially good people to ask. You may 
also want to produce programs on how 
PEG access programs are made. Use this 
program as a way to invite people into 
your center. 

Tip #6: Invite members of the press to 
participate in programming. You may 
want to find someone at the center to have 
a "press roundtable" show. You may want 
to program the show around having these 
journalists discuss community issues. 

Tip #7: Produce a documentary about 
your local newspaper or television news 
station. This could include interviews with 
editors, reporters, etc. You can stress 
during the interview their commitment to 
the ideals of the First Amendment. A non- 
See Twelve Tips, page 21... 



6 CMR 




Alliance Information Infrastructure 

The Alliance Web Site 



by Kari Peterson 

r | ihe Alliance Information Infrastruc- 
ture Committee continues to focus 
A its attention in three major areas: 1) 
developing a World Wide Web site for the 
Alliance, 2) developing a selection of 
electronic mailing lists (sometimes referred 
to as "listservs") for Alliance members to 
subscribe to, and 3) educating both our 
board and our membership- at- large about 
the growing use of electronic communica- 
tion. 

The web. The goal in creating a web 
site is many fold. First and most importantly, 
a web site is an excellent vehicle for 
information dissemination. Those of you 
who have access to the World Wide Web 
(WWW) surely understand the value of 
establishing "a presence" in this growing 
network of sites, Web addresses (known as 
URLs) are popping up all over the place — 
on business cards, in ads and brochures 
and even on billboards — directing would-be 
info-seekers to these unique, customized, 
virtual displays. This is an efficient, fast 
and inexpensive way for individuals to get 
information about an organization (for 
example, membership details, legislative 
updates and calls to action, conference and 
publication information). This can save the 
national office time and money! 

Creating a web site also places the 
Alliance squarely on the electronic playing 
field. As we advocate for citizen access to 
emerging electronic media, we will have an 
understanding of what these new tools are 
and a heightened sensitivity as to their use 
and value. 

The Alliance will be tackling many lofty 
issues and such questions as what informa- 
tion to provide via WWW, how to present it 
and how to update it in order to keep it 
current and valuable. We will also consider 
policies concerning 'linkage" — to whom 
do we provide links and where in our 
"pages" should these links exist? Who will 
provide links to the Alliance on their pages? 
There will be design, space and speed 
issues as well. Finally, we must consider 
ways in which we promote our URL. As a 
statement about the Alliance, the Web site 
will become one of our key platforms for 
presenting ourselves to the world. It has 
the potential to reach millions of people all 
over the globe. The WWW is radically 
changing the way we communicate with the 



world. Thousands of organizations are 
contemplating these fundamental issues and 
how we resolve them will impact our 
effectiveness in this new medium. Watch for 
the Alliance's own URL to be released soon! 

Electronic Mailing Lists. Electronic 
mailing lists, sometimes erroneously called 
"listservs," are programs which distribute 
electronic mail to a group of people who are 
subscribed to a particular list. Subscribing 
and using these lists requires a computer 
and modem, and an e-mail account. Elec- 
tronic mail lists invite input and discussion, 
generally on a prescribed topic, 

The Alliance has had an electronic 
mailing list for nearly a year. Currently, 
approximately 250 individuals are sub- 
scribed and discuss a wide variety of topics 
ranging from equipment selection to current 
legislative activity. Discussion involves 
national staff and leadership, access center 
staff, volunteer producers, activists attempt- 
ing to bring access to their communities — 
and everything in between. 

The All committee proposed a recom- 
mendation to create four new electronic 
mailing lists and got dozens of suggestions 
and words of support. The number of 
possible lists is nearly endless; critical mass 
is the only limiting factor. So, based on the 
interest expressed by the Alliance's elec- 
tronic community, the following lists will 
soon emerge: 1) Alliance announcements 
from the national office — including public 
policy updates, conference and Hometown 
updates, membership updates and more; 2) 
technical talk, for staff and producers 
interested in equipment issues; 3) opera- 
tional issues and policies — for those who 
run Public, Educational and Governmental 
Access and/or L.O. centers; 4) an electronic 
soapbox— a catchall for open discussion on 
broad and eclectic issues. 

Educating our members. The committee 
will continue its regular column in CMR and 
will consider other avenues for educating 
our membership and leadership on the uses 
of electronic communication tools. 

If you are interested in participating on 
the committee, or just want to be included 
on the committee* s mailing list, send e-mail 
to Kari Peterson at 

kapeters@dcn.davis.ca.us. Everybody's 
ideas are welcome. Committee members 
include Randy Ammon <mcat@mcat.org>; 

See Alliance WebSite, page 20... 



these sites 

Access Tucson 
http://access. tucson. org/ 
Access Los Altos 
http://JS3JS.60.Sl/alaJitml 

Access Sacramento 
http://www.sna. com/access 
Davis Community Network 
h ttp://wheetdcn. davis. ca. us/DCN/ 
f Olelo: The Corporation for 
Community Television 
hitp://hookomo.aloha.net/^ctpa/ 
oleto/olelo.html 
Public Access Television Channel 2 
http://www.avalon.net/-paiv/ 
A mh erst Community Television 
http://w ww. webjammers. com/actv/ 
Cambridge Community Television 
htip://www.almitedu/pro jects/ 

iiip/Cambridge/cctv. h tmt 
Somervilte Community A ccess 

Television 
http://turnpike.net/metro/scat/ 
Minneapolis Telecommunications 
Network 
http://www.mtn. org/mtn/ 
index, html 
Missoula Community Access 
Television 
http://wwwAsm.net/-mcat/ 
index .html 
Portland Cable Access 
h ttp://w w w, teleporL com/^rawdirt/ 
pea. html 
Austin Community Television 
http://www.eden.com/-actv/ 
Arlington Community Television 

http://www.channel3S.org/ 
Fairfax Cable Access Corporation 
hup://axsamer. org/prog ramming/ 

progindexJitml 
Brattleboro Community Television 
http://www.sover.net/-bctv/ 
Thurston Community Television 
hitp://rs6a. wln.com/-tctvch 3/ 
welcome, html 



CMR 7 



TRAINERS ' 



SIG 




\The Alliance for Community Media 



by Julian Ross Braver and 
jesika maria ross 

Hello and welcome to the inagural 
edition of the Trainers' Special 
Interest Group (SIG) column in 
CMR, What is the Trainers SIG? Glad you 
asked. The SIG is an organization of 
access staff and volunteers working 
together to empower individuals, groups 
and communities to express themselves 
through electronic media. 

Who is a trainer? Is it only those 
individuals who stand in front of a class 
and teach who may be considered "train- 
ers?" How might we broaden 
the definition of 
"trainer" to embrace 
more of the people 
who make access 
their life' s work? If you 
are a facility assistant, who helps 
people check out remote units; are you 
training? What if you are a programming 
person who calls a producer to inform 
them that they could reduce wind noise by 
using a screen? If you are an outreach 
coordinator who meets with a group of 
teachers to tell them how their students 
can use your access channel as a forum for 
discussion, are you "training?" The simple 
answer is an emphatic YES to all of the 
above. We are all trainers. Training must 
be integrated into everything we do. In 
every interaction we have with a member 
of the public, we are transferring some bit 
of knowledge, some skill which will help 
our clients to be more effective creators of 
messages. We are helping people help 
themselves. 

This definition of "trainer" is impor- 
tant to keep in mind if we who facilitate 
access hope to avoid compartmentalizing 
and disassociating the tasks we perform. 
The danger in such a division of labor is 
that one can become ensnared in their 
personal minutia, only handling individual 
day-to-day tasks while losing sight of the 
larger picture. While we are all aware of the 
"how" of providing access and the tasks 
our positions require, we must not forget 

8 CMR 



Everyone involved with 
access is a trainer. Anyone 
who facilitates, trains. 



the "why." One must always keep in sight 
the reasons why her/his position is critical 
to the access organization. 

While the paradigm of "training" 
being a separate box on the organizational 
chart is becoming increasingly outdated, 
there is still value in taking additional time 
and giving extra care to focus specifically 
on this critical area of responsibility. For 
the reasons listed above, calling training a 
"special interest" may sound like a 
misnomer, however setting up a SIG does 
allow us the opportunity to discuss 
pedagogical method, curricula and syllabi 
to optimize the 

service we 
provide to 
our clients. 
For these 
purposes, the 
Alliance for Commu- 
nity Media's Trainers' SIG exists. 

As a trainer, do you ever wonder how 
you might avoid reinventing the wheel? Do 
you think about strategies which others 
might have employed which would be 
useful to you? Do you have successful 
techniques which you think others could 
use? If the answer to any or all of the 
above questions is yes, you should be a 
member of the Trainers' SIG. The SIG exists 
for the purposes of: 

— disseminating community media training 

information; 

— sharing strategies, materials and 

curricula; 

— forging alliances; 

— providing networking opportunities on 

local, regional, national and interna- 
tional levels; 

— establishing solidarity among trainers, 

and; 

— building a unifying support system for 

access trainers (which is everyone!). 
The SIG recently held several meet- 
ings at the national conference of the 
Alliance for Community Media in Boston. 
Topics discussed included: 

— how training programs should train for 

social activism, media literacy, 



stimulating civic communication and 
empowerment; 

— making access centers truly "acces- 

sible" to those without a great deal of 
time/resources; 

— training groups/individuals with special 

needs/challenges, and; 

— how our training can truly "make a 

difference." 

In addition to the SIG sessions, 
several workshop s/roundtables were held 
on training-related topics including: 

— developing and evaluating effective 

training programs, and 

— innovative training philosophies and 

practices. 

The SIG is working on offering similar 
networking sessions/workshops at 
Alliance regional conferences. 

Besides the benefits of conference 
sessions, what else does the SIG have to 
offer? Likely our single most effective tool 
is our newsletter On Track. The newsletter 
is published quarterly and contains many 
useful articles covering a variety of topics . 
We are always looking for contributions to 
On Track, and also welcome any feedback 
concerning how the SIG can most effec- 
tively meet your needs. 

Everyone involved with access is a 
trainer. Anyone who facilitates, trains. 
Share your knowledge, join the SIG. 

What is the cost of membership in this 
valuable group? Would you believe 
$10.00? If you are already an Alliance for 
Community Media member for at least the 
$35.00 rate, you can join the Trainers' SIG 
for only an additional $10.00. Please direct 
your fees to Kelly Matthews, Director of 
Membership Services, Alliance for 
Community Media, 666 1 1th St NW, Ste. 
806, Washington, DC 20001. If you have 
questions about the SIG, please contact 
either SIG co- coordinator Julian Ross 
Braver, 'Olelo: The Corporation for 
Community Television, 1 122 Mapunapuna 
St, Honolulu, HI 96819. Phone: (808) 834- 
0007 ext. 128, fax (808) 836-2546, ore-mail 
attn@aloha.net; or SIG co-coordinator 

See Trainers' SIG, page 21... 



Public Policy Update 

Extending Our Work to the State Level 



by Alan Bushong 

Changes in federal legislation and 
the entry of telephone companies 
and satellite distributors into 
delivery of multiple channel video services 
are causing the Alliance and members to 
pay increasing attention to legislation and 
administrative work at the state level. 

The Public Policy Committee is 
working on approaches to 
universal service and 
model state legislation 
which will help members 
navigate the new waters of 
state level work. A new law 
in Connecticut may 
provide the model we seek. 

Connecticut Senate 
Bill No. 360 includes 
admirable requirements to 
fund public access. The bill 
states that current law 
requires cable TV compa- 
nies to provide funding for 
public access program- 
ming. Bill No. 360 extends that and other 
public access provisions of the law to 
"multichannel program distributors" which 
include video dial tone systems and 
companies that use satellite technologies. 
Specific provisions include: 

1. a requirement to assess all subscribers 
(cable TV and all other multichannel 
video programs distributors) $5 per year 
to support public access; 

2. the state's ability to increase or 
decrease that amount by 40%, plus 
annual consumer price index adjust- 
ments; 

3. a restatement of cable company 
requirements to provide facilities, 
equipment, and technical and manage- 
rial support for public access (this 
requirement is extended to other 
distributors once the franchise area is 
subject to effective competition; 

4. provisions for community-based 
nonprofit organizations to assume 
responsibility for public access 
operations. 

While the current funding mechanism 
may not meet the needs of all communities, 
the concepts embodied in this bill would 
imbed two-way telecommunications access 



"We know from 
surveys that 
people who watch 
community media 
are far more active 
in voting than the 
populace at large/' 



as a part of universal service. We in 
community media know that subscribers 
like the presence of community media, that 
the costs are minimal, and that this small 
amount of money that stays home helps us 
to build better communities. 

The State of Connecticut just issued a 
call for comments on implementation of 
this bill. The Alliance is developing 

comments which may serve 
as a model for states around 
the nation. At first glance, 
my comments are simply 
"Way to go, Connecticut!" 

Working with state 
officials. One of the best 
ways to provide education 
to elected officials at any 
level is to bring them on the 
channels. While many of us 
televise city and county 
government meetings, and a 
growing number provide 
channel space to U.S. 
representative and senators, 
we may have overlooked state level 
elected officials. 

We have a lot to offer. We know that 
community media allows a thorough 
discussion of issues, as opposed to the 30 
seconds often offered by commercial 
media. We know that 30-second commer- 
cial spots can cost a fortune to produce 
and distribute, while community media 
costs are low. We know from surveys that 
people who watch community media are far 
more active in voting than the populace at 
large. 

Bringing elected officials and their 
staffs to your center and providing 
channel space will create an understanding 
that can overcome negative publicity in 
commercial media. The best way to 
counteract the trivial ization of community 
media is by example. The more people 
know about us, the better! Our channels 
have unique and valuable programming, 
and community media is affordable. 

If we fail to involve our state leaders, 
we have chosen to not represent our- 
selves, and have defaulted to the informa- 
tion spread by commercial media. Hope- 
fully, we will work with the media to 
increasingly represent community media 



correctly. At the same time, it seems ironic 
that we might not take our own advice to 
our communities to "speak for ourselves." 

Let's figure out a way to involve our 
state elected officials. If you have govern- 
ment access as a part of your mission, you 
are set. If not, perhaps working with the 
League of Women Voters, your City Club 
or another civic organization would 
provide a positive way to involve elected 
officials. 

Let's be creative. The ideas below are 
just a few tested methods. 
L Town hall meetings on the channels 

2. Candidate forum programs 

3. Live call-in programs 

4. Channel IDs 

As state legislatures take a larger role 
in shaping our future, let's take a larger 
role in providing information and access to 
them. Our communities will be the winners. 

Alan Bushong is Chair of I he Alli- 
ance Board, and Chair of the Alliance 
Public Policy Committee as well 



Information 
is Power 

r ■ ihe Alliance needs your 

assistance in our efforts to 
JL build our national government 
and public relations effort. Please 
take some time to send us the 
following information from your 
community media center: 

1) Franchise agreement; 

2) State and Local Laws and Regula- 
tions regarding Access; 

3) List of local organizations that use 
your access center; 

4) Pol icies and guidelines, particularly 
with regard to: a) access by out of 
franchise distributors/users; b) 
access by non- commercial entities 
that make commercial announce- 
ments or access by commercial 
entities that make commercial 
announcements; and c) censorship 
(or self-censorship) of human 
nudity, sexual or political topics, or 
any other content-based restric- 

See Information, page 19... 



CMR 9 



Boston '95 
Community Media: Thriving in the 

Technology Revolution 




Alliance Chair Tony Riddle confers with 
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino before 
introducing him to the group. 



by Rika Welsh 

This year's Alliance for Community Media 
International Conference and Trade Show 

in Boston served as a milestone in the 
history of our organization for several 
reasons. With 
704 people 
attending, 
conference 
attendance was 
the highest in 
many years. The 
trade show 
featured 27 
exhibitors and 
was highlighted 
by an interactive 
Internet Lab 
and a World 
Wide Web page 
for the confer- 
ence. Also very 
significant is 
that revenues 

from the event rang in at $190,753.50 (per 
the conference management company's 
final report) far exceeding the break-even 
goal of $140,000. An impressive result from 
the zealous group of planners... up there in 
the Northeast! 

Money, albeit a vital lubricant for the 
Alliance's activities during these challeng- 
ing times, is not the most important 
measure of success, however. This 
conference had built into it an amazing 
amount of activity and dissemination of 
information. There were 1 half-day pre- 
conferences, attended by 174 registrants. 
The conference itself had 10 tracks 
spanning the spectrum of interest, 
including Building the Continuity Media 
Center of Tomorrow, Fundraising and 
Development, New Technologies, Issues 
for Trainers, Educational Access, Govern- 
mental Access, and Public Policy. Along 
with another half-dozen 'stand alone' 
topics, the workshops offered totaled over 
65 . In addition, Managers A-Z, a full day 
specifically designed for access facility 
staff (trainers, engineers, executive 
directors and their boards of directors) 



provided another 24 presentation/discus- 
sion groups. Although the whole confer- 
ence had a smooth and energetic tone 
about it... if there was one complaint, it 
seemed to be that there were too many 

things from which to 
choose! Again, 
kudos to all of the 
hard working 
planners! 

The interna- 
tional dimension of 
this annual event 
really came alive this 
year. Over a dozen 
countries were 
represented, thanks 
to the efforts of a 
hard working 
Conference Commit- 
tee, the new and 
effective organizing 
tool the Internet 
provides, and the 
growing relationships that some of our 
members have established with their 
counterpart techno-revolutionaries 
throughout the 
world. The 
consensus— that 
emerging 
communications 
technologies 
play a vital role 
in bringing 
people and 
communities 
together to share 
experiences, 
build bonds, and 
appreciate their 
diversity — has 
now created a 
global challenge. 
This challenge is 
to share con- 
cerns, insights and lessons. To build a 
bridge, just as the Alliance did years ago 
from community to community, now we 
must build it 'country by country.' This 
conference provided a good backdrop for 



an international "Think Tank" and the 
dynamic quality of this group of people 
was infectious. 

The Public Policy and image fronts 
offered their own milestone. Meredith 
Jones' speech marked the first time an 
FCC official of her stature addressed an 
access group. But perhaps the more 
important event was her participation in 
the Hometown Awards ceremony. In 
conversation, not only did she speak very 
highly of access and the need for contin- 
ued PEG channels, but she was impressed 
by the by the quality and types of pro- 
gramming she saw at the ceremony. As 
Hubert Jessup pointed out, "one of our 
goals was to increase the visibility of 
access at the FCC — and we succeeded!" 

The NCTA's Dan Brenner was 
equally impressed and began a dialogue 
with Alliance members on several fronts. 
Nancy Bicknell Larkin, a founding 
member of the National Federation of 
Local Cable Programmers (the precurser 
to the Alliance for Community Media) and 
now a Vice President at Continental 
Cablevision, bridged the past to the 

present by 
some great and 
very humorous 
analogies of 
shared 

struggles. The 
historic halls of 
Faneuil Hall, 
where Daniel 
Webster and 
John Hancock, 
John Quincy 
Adams and 
Paul Revere all 
took to the 
podium in the 
name of our 
independence, 
this July rang 

out with the celebration of the Hometown 
Awards. A befitting and inspirational 
setting! 

No convention is as successful as one 
that throws great parties-and this conven- 




Jewell Ryan-White Award for Cultural Diversity 

recipient Curtis Henderson of Boston 
Neighborhood Network passes the award along 
to 1995 recipient Margie Reese, Executive 
Director of Cable Access of Dallas. 



10 CMR 



"When the show was over and it was time to go, John Curtis and Steve Spangaro from Australia both 
gave me a big hug and said, ( we 7/ see you soon, we won V say good-bye! > What I am still left with today 
is the feeling that we've helped build some bridges between people, countries and cultures, " 

— Judi Kelemen, Chair, International Planning Committee 




1995 Alliance Conference Chair and 
Maiden (MA) Access Television 
Executive Director Rika Welsh kicks off 
the conference by presenting Kia'i Kaleo 
(Protector of the Voice). 



tion did not let us down. The Boston 
Computer Museum provided a perfect 
setting for the 
International 
Reception. More 
than 300 people 
mingled and 
took advantage 
of the opportu- 
nity to meet 
each other,.. or 
busied them- 
selves with the 
Walk through 
the Internet and 
other exhibits. 
For many who 
had been 
around since the 
last Boston 
conference, one- 
upping the boat 
cruise of '85 was 
a real challenge. 
However, taking over the entire Aquarium 
along with a dance tent right on the 
Boston Harbor seems to have done the 
trick! One of the highlights of the evening 
was Curtis 
Henderson's 
wonderful jazz 
voice, wafting 
thought this 
underworld of 
glimmering fish 
and gliding 
tortoises. 

Last but 
by no means 
least, another 
milestone. This 
was Kia'i 
Kaleo' s first 
conference on 
'the mainland.' 
In case you are 
wondering... Kia'i Kaleo is a pahu, a 
wooden shark skin drum, an instrument of 
power and sacredness that was presented 
to the Alliance last year in Hawaii. Pahu 
are given proper names and passed from 




Judi Kelemen of Lowell Telecommunications 
Corporation, who coordinated the International 
Reception at the 1995 Conference, chats with 
Alliance for Community Media Executive 
Director Barry Forbes. 



generation to generation. Kia'i Kaleo 
means 'Protector of the Voice' and he is to 
travel to each Alliance 
annual convention, 
absorbing and purifying 
the spirit of our events, 
until such time as we go 
back to Hawaii, when he 
will finally go home. 
He had spent his first 
year away from Hawaii hi 
an affectionate setting at 
MATV. Staff, producers 
and the myriad of 
convention planning 
volunteers had become 
accustomed to finding 
their own quiet connec- 
tion to his powers. A 
new tradition was 
established with his 
presence at the opening 
ceremony. Russell 
Peters, President of the 
Council of Chiefs for the Wampanaug 
Nation presented Kia'i Kaleo a piece of 
wampum from Cape Cod, a symbol of 
appreciation from their tradition. It is 

hoped by the 
Boston planners 
that each year, 
the native 
peoples from 
each conference 
area will be 
invited to 
participate in our 
ceremonies 
honoring Kia'i 
Kaleo and add 
to his presence 
with their own. 
As stated by 
Brian Wilson, 
Chair of the 
hosting region, 
"equally important for me at these events, 
and with renewed energy, is the building of 
relationships, the collaboration of effort, 
and the sharing of ideas. This summer, 

See Boston y 95> page 1 5 




The Alliance hosted 
colleagues from... 
Australia 

Brazil 
Canada 
Denmark 

France 
Germany 
Hong Kong 
Israel 
Mexico 
Netherlands 
South Africa 
South Korea 
Sweden 
United Nations 
United States 



Hometown Video 




Festival Winners 



1995 Hometown Award Winners 



Production Awards 



Category 


Pro/Non 


Single/Series 


Title 


Facility 


Citv 


State 


About Public Access 


Open 


Single Program 


CTV Insider 


CTV North Suburbs 


Roseville 


MN 


Access Program Promotion 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


1 C I V Volunteers & I hghhghts 


lorrance Community Television 


Torrance 


CA 


Access Program Promotion 


Non-Professional 


Single Program 


Judicial Murder 


Access Sacramento 


Sacramento 


CA 


Arts Programming 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Shirley Kirkes: Passion and Dance 


CityTV 


Santa Monica 


CA 


Arts Programming 


Media Professional 


Series 


It's the Arts 


Miami Valley Cable Council 


Centerville 


OH 


Arts Programming 


Non-Professional 


Single Program 


Art Without Walls 


Somerville Community Access TV 


Somerville 


MA 


Arts Programming 


Non-Professional 


Series 


Where the Waters Meet 


MATA 


Milwaukee 


WI 


Computer Art 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Staff Museum 


DATV 


Dayton 


OH 


Computer Art 


Non-Prof essi onal 


Single Program 


Two All-Beef Patties 


Access Tucson 


Tucson 


AZ 


Documentary Event 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Vancouver Riot 


Rogers Community 4 


Vancouver 


BC 


Documentary Event 


N on -Professional 


Single Program 


Celebrating the Pacific: 6th Festival 


'Olelo 


Honolulu 


HI 


Documentary Profile 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


No Place You Wanna Be 


Chelmsford Community Television 


Chelmsford 


MA 


Documentary Profile 


Non-Professional 


Single Program 


The Mill Valley Children's Garden 


Viacom - Marin 3 1 


San Rafael 


CA 


Documentary Public Awareness 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Is It Really Away? 


CityTV 


Santa Monica 


CA 


Documentary Public Awareness 


N on- Professional 


Single Program 


Beyond the Loss of the Breast 


Mid-Peninsula Access Corporation 


Palo Alto 


CA 


Educational 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


From the Inside 


'Olelo 


Honolulu 


HI 


Educational 


Media Professional 


Series 


Parks Plus 


Fairfax County Cable Channel 1 6 


Fairfax 


VA 


Educational 


Non-Professional 


Single Program 


The Mill Valley Children's Garden 


Viacom - Marin 3 1 


San Rafael 


CA 


Educational 


N on -Professional 


Series 


The Wacky Science Show 


Continental Cablcvision 


Rolling Meadws 


1L 


Entertainment 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Christmas in Cullentown 


Rogers Cablesy stems Ltd. 


Oshawa 


Ont 


Entertainment 


Media Professional 


Series 


Baakoyie 


Rogers Community 4 


Vancouver 


BC 


Entertainment 


Non-Pro fess i o nal 


Single Program 


SockTrek - The Motionless Picture 


KCTV 


Santa Barbara 


CA 


Entertainment 


Non- Prof essi onal 


Series 


Off the Wall and Over the Top 


Staten Island Community Television 


Staten Island 


NY 


Ethnic/Cultural Expression 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Given Opportunities 


Chicago Access Corporation 


Chicago 


IL 


Ethni c/C u Itural E x pre ss i on 


Media Professional 


Series 


Roshni 


WLRN Cable-Tap 


Miami 


FL 


Ethnic/Cultural Expression 


Non-Professional 


Single Program 


Songs of Sovereignty 


CityTV 


Santa Monica 


CA 


Ethnic/Cultural Expression 


Non-Professional 


Scries 


New World Visions 


Montgomery Community Television 


Rockville 


MD 


Gay & Lesbian Programming 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Celebrating Our Community 


Cambridge Community Television 


Cambridge 


MA 


Gay & Lesbian Programming 


Media Professional 


Series 


Get Used To It 


CityChannel 10 


West Hollywood 


CA 


Gay & Lesbian Programming 


Non-Professional 


Single Program 


First Aid for Soldiers 


Cambridge Community Television 


Cambridge 


MA 


Gay & Lesbian Programming 


Non-Professional 


Series 


lhe hresca Vmyl Show 


CityChannel 10 


West Hollywood 


CA 


Informational 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Lead Story: Holiday Shopping Spree 


Continental Cablevision 


Lawrence 


MA 


Informational 


Media Professional 


Series 


Long Beach Television News 


Cable Vision Industries 


Long Beach 


CA 


Informational 


Non-Professional 


Single Program 


Solutions for Survival: Greyston 


Continental Cablevision 


Cortlandt Manor 


NY 


Informational 


Non-Professional 


Series 


Community in Crisis 


Jones Intercable Public Access 


Tampa 


FL 


Innovative 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Sound Bite Theatre 


Jones Intercable Public Access 


Tampa 


FL 


Innovative 


Media Professional 


Series 


All About Weather 


Miami Valley Cable Council 


Centerville 


OH 


Innovative 


Non-Professional 


Single Program 


My Name Is Cheula 


Staten Island Community Television 


Staten Island 


NY 


Innovative 


Non -Professional 


Series 


Job Search 


Community Access TV of Salina 


Salina 


KS 


Instructional/ Training 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Buscando Trabajo 


Multnomah Community Television 


Gresham 


OR 


Instructional/Training 


Media Professional 


Series 


The Resident Experts 


Continental Cablevision 


Rolling Meadws 


IL 


Instructional/Training 


Non- Professional 


Single Program 


The Urban Gardener - Bulbs 


BCAT 


Brooklyn 


NY 


Instructional/Training 


Non-Professional 


Series 


Health's Kitchen 


BronxNet 


Bronx 


NY 


International 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Greetings From Iraq 


Cambridge Community television 


Cambridge 


MA 


International 


Non-Professional 


Single Program 


Postcards from India 


Viacom - Marin 3 1 


San Rafael 


CA 


L.O. Program Promotion 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


The Lemon-Aid Show 


Rogers Community 10 


Toronto 


Ont 


Live 


Media Professional 


Single Program 


Spartan Hockey 


WELM/TCI Cablevision 


East Lansing 


MI 


Live 


Media Professional 


Series 


Math Homework Hotline 


DPS TV 


Dayton 


OH 


Live 


Non- Professional 


Single Program 


Trivia Challenge 


Burlington Cable Access Television 


Burlington 


MA 



Live 


N oh-P rofessi onal 


Series 




1359 Jazz Club 


Cambridge Community Television 


Cambridge 


MA 


Local News 


Open 


Series 




Wake-Up Germantown! 


GHS-TV 


Germantown 


TN 


Magazine Format 


Media Professional 


Series 




Chicago Works! 


City of Chicago 


Chicago 


IL 


Magazine Format 


Non-Professional 


Series 




All Pro Kids 


Fairfax Cable Access Corporation 


Fairfax 


VA 


Municipal 


Open 


Single 


Program 


FJouston Capital Improvement Plan 


The Municipal Channel 


Houston 


IX 


Municipal 


Open 


Series 




Sheriff's Office Spotlight 


Hillsborough County Cable 


Tampa 


FL 


Music Video 


Media Professional 


Single 


Program 


Open Your Eyes by Tea Wire 


Meredith Cable 


Eagan 


MN 


Music Video 


Non-Professional 


Single 


Program 


Mirage 


GRTV 


Grand Rapids 


MI 


Original Tele play 


Media Professional 


Single 


Program 


The Earthquake Zone 


Rogers Community 4 


Vancouver 


BC 


Original Teleplay 


Non-Professional 


Single 


Program 


Video Junkie 


Vision Cable Community Access 


Clearwater 


FL 


Performing Arts 


Media Professional 


Single 


Program 


Holiday Ice Show 


Vision Cable of Pinellas 


Clearwater 


FL 


Performing Arts 


Media Professional 


Series 




Bronx Live 


BronxNet 


Bronx 


NY 


Performing Arts 


Non-Professional 


Single 


Program 


Music da camera 


Northwest Community TV 


Long Lake 


MN 


Performing Arts 


Non-Professional 


Series 




Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra 


Access Vision 


Battle Creek 


MI 


Programming By Senior Citizens 


Non-Professional 


Single 


Program 


Operation Independence 


Comcast Cablevision 


Columbia 


MD 


Programming By Senior Citizens 


Non-Professional 


Series 




The Senior Scene of Oceanside 


Oceanside Community Television 


Oceanside 


CA 


Programming By Youth 


Non-Professional 


Single 


Program 


Tampa Bay: Above, Below and Beyond 


Tampa Educational Cable Consortium 


Tampa 


FL 


Programming By Youth 


Non-Professional 


Series 




Access Together 


GHS-TV 


Germantown 


TN 


Programming for Senior Citizens 


Media Professional 


Single 


Program 


Senior Times: Volunteers 


Fairfax County Cable Channel 1 6 


Fairfax 


VA 


Programming for Senior Citizens 


Non-Professional 


Single 


Program 


Nothin's Stoppin' 'Em 


Communications on Cable TV 


Berkeley Hts 


NJ 


Programming For Youth 


Media Professional 


Single 


Program 


Home Remedies for a Violent City 


MATA 


Milwaukee 


WI 


Programming For Youth 


Media Professional 


Series 




Teens Talk-Line 


Suburban Community Television 


Doylestown 


PA 


Programming For Youth 


Non-Professional 


Single 


Program 


The Treehouse Club 


Rogers Community 4 


Vancouver 


BC 


Programming For Youth 


Non-Professional 


Series 




Home Alone in Salina 


Community Access TV of Salina 


Salina 


KS 


Public Service Announcements 


Media Professional 


Single 


Program 


Pick It Up 


LA City View 35 


Los Angeles 


CA 


Public Service Announcements 


Media Professional 


Series 




Discover Our Spirit 


Continental Cablevision 


Lawrence 


MA 


Public Service Announcements 


Non-Professional 


Single 


Program 


Levels Infomercial PSA 


Great Neck PATV 


Great Neck 


NY 


Public Service Announcements 


Non-Professional 


Series 




Community Action News PSA 


Miami Valley Cable Council 


Centerville 


OH 


Religious 


Media Professional 


Single 


Program 


Favor Seekers, Grateful Dancers 


BCTV 


El Dorado 


KS 


Religious 


Non-Professional 


Single 


Program 


Word for the World 


Wheaton Community Television 


Wheaton 


IL 


Sports 


Media Professional 


Single 


Program 


Piano Martial Arts Magazine 


Piano Television Network 


Piano 


TX 


Sports 


Media Professional 


Series 




Sports Report 


Vision Cable of Pinellas 


Clearwater 


FL 


Sports 


Non- Professional 


Single 


Program 


W.O.L. Diving Championships 


Miami Valley Cable Council 


Centerville 


OH 


Sports 


Non-Professional 


Series 




Waycross Community TV Sports 


Waycross Community Television 


Forest Park 


OH 


Talk Show 


Media Professional 


Single 


Program 


Vancouver Focus 


Rogers Community 4 


Vancouver 


BC 


Talk Show 


Media Professional 


Series 




The Open Circle with Maria Clark 


PCTC 


Piscataway 


NJ 


Talk Show 


Non-Professional 


Single 


Program 


Forward Motion 


Montgomery Community Television 


Rockville 


MD 


Talk Show 


Non- Professional 


Series 




WomanSide 


Fairfax Cable Access Corporation 


Fairfax 


VA 


Video Art 


Media Professional 


Single 


Program 


The Dorothy I Love You Show 


Chicago Access Corporation 


Chicago 


IL 


Video Art 


Non-Professional 


Single 


Program 


Weaving the Matrix 


ACTV 


Austin 


TX 



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Sacramento 


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Government Access 


Under $400,000 


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Wheaton 


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Overall Excellence 


Government Access 


Over $400,000 


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Boston Neighborhood Network Television 


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MA 



1995 Keynote Speech 
Communication, Adaptation 
and Evolution 



by Bob Russell 

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the 
molecule of biological information 
storage and transmission, has 
created a web of biological life forms which 
have coevolved with each other, with the 
physical properties of the planet and with 
the sun's energy. 

This creation/evolution of life on this 
planet has been unfolding for a time period 
that exceeds 4 billion years. Life on Earth 
has become a complex interconnected 
system during this time span. Life 
continues to adapt and 
evolve, driven by 
the genetic algo- 
rithms inherent in 
its DNA. Algorithms 
are formulas or recipes for 
solving problems. 

These genetic algorithms are analo- 
gous to the algorithms used in software to 
create operating systems and programs for 
computers. Both adaptation and evolution 
provide feedback into the web of life 
sustained by the pool of DN A-based 
genetic algorithms. Evolution creates 
change; adaptation helps organisms react 
to and anticipate change. Life is the 
continuation of information perpetuated 
by clever genetic algorithms, a dance 
between adaptation and evolution. 
Richard Dawkin, in his new book Digital 
River, makes the point that all current life 
forms carry successful DNA. Every living 
being is the result of an organism staying 
alive long enough to reproduce and pass 
its genetic algorithm into the future — - 
success breeds success. 

Feedback, an essential property of 
complex systems, functions to help 
organisms adapt and evolve by providing 
communication, the flow of data and 
information. Life forms have feedback 
mechanisms based on the interaction of 
chemical and neural processes. The human 
organism handles feedback through a 
complex interaction between our endocrine 
and nervous systems. Our bodies are 
constantly communicating and gathering 



To survive, maintain and 
evolve, biological systems must 
predict the future. 



data to maintain a stable condition for 
survival. Feedback is communication. 

Because communication, a multi- 
directional exchange of data, information 
and knowledge, is an essential tool for 
feedback, life forms on Earth have evolved 
a variety of internal and external communi- . 
cation channels that provide the raw data 
for processing by biological intelligence. 
To survive, maintain and evolve, biological 
systems must predict the future, DNA, 
being the underlying "intelligence" for 

biological systems, must 
communicate, 
and does so 
on a cellular 
level in all 
organisms on 
Earth (well almost... 
there are some RN A-based life forms). 
Within an organism, DNA communicates 
its instructions with chemical messengers. 
Outside the cellular level DNA has 
evolved other communication 
mechanisms so species can 
communicate with themselves, with 
members of other species and with 
the physical properties of Earth. For 
organisms to communicate, a variety 
of mechanisms have evolved: neural- 
networks for processing stimuli and 
responses; sound organs which 
both send and receive; visual 
organs; glands that secrete 
pheromones or chemical 
messengers; and other 
methods not currently under- 
stood by the human species. 

The evolution of humans has 
brought us to the point where our DNA 
can "see" itself and its place in the 
cosmos. We are perhaps the most complex 
life form that DNA has created on this 
planet. Communication within our species 
is extraordinarily complex as a result of our 
ability for language. Even when it was only 
vocal, it accelerated the social/cultural 
evolution of our species. Then about 4000 
years ago the ability to write the language 
began to emerge. The writing of language 




was a quantum leap for human communica- 
tion. It projected communication into 
physical space and time, outside of the 
purely biological construct. Before written 
languages, communication was confined 
to small groups in a limited geographical 
space and only passed information to the 
future via the synaptic storage of our 
brains. 

Our ability to write language means 
that data, information, knowledge and 
wisdom are no longer limited to oral 
communication only. Humans created a 
means to communicate into the future, 
outside of the chemical process of 
genetics and synaptic storage. DNA and 
synaptic storage are no longer the only 
way to pass information into the future. 
The ability to write and store language, 
first on stones and papyrus, has linked our 
species over ever greater space and time. 
The development of paper and the 
mechanized printing press further 

revolutionized communication. The 
publishing of books, magazines 
and newspapers became a major 
form of international communica- 
tion towards the end of the 1 8th 
century and began the 
globalization of communication. 
Communication is an evolution- 
ary process. Human biological 
evolution brought us to the point 
where language developed. Since 
the development of language, the 
evolution of communication has been 
driven by forces outside of the genetic 
algorithms of DNA. The acceleration of 
human knowledge is in a positive feed- 
back loop with the rapid technological 
change fueled by the digital izati on and 
storage of most forms of human communi- 
cation: written language, sound, and 
visual— the digital globalization of human 
communication. 

The globalization of communication 
has not provided uniform access. Commu- 
nication in the form of publishing on paper, 
TV or radio has the distinction of being a 
See Keynote, page 17... 



14 CMR 



Do what's right. 
Do it right. 



Do it right now. 

MEMBERSHIP ENROLLMENT FORM 

(Please check all that apply) 

Yes, I want to join the Alliance for Community Media. I am a(n): 

□ Access Staff Member □ Access Board Member 

□ Community Producer □ Cable Regulatory Staff or 

□ Other Board Member 

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All organizational memberships expire on September 30th of each year. 
Join between April and September and pay half the annual rate. 

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paid staff, volunteer producers, board members or other unpaid 
individuals associated with a member organization) 

□ Staff $40 □ Volunteer $30 

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who are not associated with a member organization) 

□ Advocate (volunteer) $35 □ Professional (salaried) $85 

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All individual memberships expire one year from the last day of the 
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Boston '95 

Continued from page 11 

relationships deepened, the commitment was renewed, and the 
mission became clarified. This conference underscored the 
strength of the Alliance and its vision to move our dreams 
forward" 

Rika Welsh is a founding member of the Alliance for Commu- 
nity Media (then the NFLCP), and Executive Director of Maiden 
Access Television. She has served on the Alliance national 
board for nine years, and chaired the planning committees for 
the 1985 and 1995 annual conferences. 




Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium Executive Director 
Liz Rhodes, who accepted the Community Communications 
Award for Institutional Access on behalf of SECC, enjoys the 
Boston '95 activities with Little City Foundation Executive 
Director Alan Dachman, recipient of the George A. Stoney 
Award for Humanistic Communications. 



FCC Cable Services Bureau Chief Meredith Jones confers with 
Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) Executive Director 

Hubert Jessup, who received the 1995 Bushe Leadership Award, 
and who accepted the 1995 Community Communications 
Award for Public Access on behalf of BNN 



TOTAL AMOUNT ENCLOSED $ 
NAME AND ADDRESS (Please print) 



Membership name (individual or organization) 
Contact Person (organizational members only) 



Mailing Address 

City State Zip 

Phone ( ) Fax ( ) , 

Name of organization of affiliation (affiliated members only) 
TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 

Q Nonprofit □ Educational institution □ Library 

□ Government □ Cable system Q Other for-profit organization 
TYPE OF FACILITY 

□ Public access Q Educational access Q Government access 
QLocal origination □ Leased access Q Other 

DEMOGRAPHICS (individual members only) 

This optional information will help us to better serve current and 

potential members. 

□ Black □ White □ Hispanic Q Asian or Pacific Islander 

□ Native American □Other □Female □ Male 
Mail check or money order payable to Alliance for Community 
Media, 666 11th St. NW, Suite 806, Washington, DC 20001-4542 




Conference photos by Frank Monkiewicz, Cambridge Photography 



1 995 -1 996 ACM Board of Directors 



Officers 



Alan Bushong, Chair, Public 

Policy Chair 
Executive Director, Capital 

Community Television 
P.O. Box 2342, Salem, OR 97308- 

2342 

Voice: 503-588-2288 
Fax: 503-588-6424 
E-mail: cctv@teleport.com 

Ann Flynn, Vice-Chair; At-Large 
Director 

Tampa Educational Cable Consor- 
tium 

703 North Willow Ave, Tampa, FL 

33606 
Voice: 813-254-2253 
Fax: 813-253-3267 
E-mail: aflynn@innet.com 

Velvalee (Vel) Wiley, Treasurer; 

At-Large Director 
Executive Director, MATA 
1610 R 2nd Street, Milwaukee, WI 

53209 
Voice: 414-225-3560 
Fax: 414-225-3564 
E-mail: VelWiley@aol.com 



Greg Vawter, Secretary; Central 

States Regional Chair . 
Executive Director, Waycross 

Community Television 
2086 Waycross Road, Forest Park, 

OH 45240 
Voice: 513-825-2429 
Fax: 513-825-2745 
E-mail: vawter_g@hcca.ohio.gov 

Brian A. Wilson, Chair of 

Regional Chairs; Northeast 

Regional Chair 
Access Director, Somerville 

Community Access Television 
90 Union Square, Somerville, MA 

02143 
Voice: 617-628-8826 
Fax: 617-628-1811 
E-mail: ptwscat@igc.org 



Directors 



Ruben Abreu, At-Large Director 
Executive Director, Citizens 

Television, Inc. 
873 State Street, New Haven, CT 

06511 
Voice: 203-562-2288 
Fax: 203-562-2563 
E-mail: ruben.abreu@straycat.com 



Randy Ammon, Northwest 

Regional Chair 
Executive Director, Missoula 

Community Access 
500 N. Higgins, Suite 105, 

Missoula, MT 59807 
Voice: 406-542-6228 
Fax: 406-721-6014 
E-mail: mcat@mcat.org 

Barbara Bryant, At-Large 

Director 
P.O. Box 1346, Milwaukee, WI 

53201 
Voice: 414-286-8590 
Fax: 414-344-3000 

Judy Crandall, Organizational 

Development Chair 
Executive Director, OC-4 
1230 Souter, Troy, MI 48083 
Voice: 810-589-7778 
Fax: 810-589-7779 
E-mail: occcc@aol.com 

Sue Diciple, At-Large Director 
President, Management Resources 
10011 SE Division, Ste. 205, 

Portland, OR 97266 
Voice: 503-253-3436 
Fax: 503-253-0020 
E-mail: sdiciple@aol.com 

Ron Fitzherbert, Mid-Atlantic 
Regional Chair 

President, Flying Penguin Produc- 
tions 

716 North Oakland Street, 

Arlington, VA 22203 
Voice: 703-358-9219 
Fax: 703-522-2798 
E-mail: ron@penguin.net 

Kathleen Greenwood, Midwest 

Regional Chair 
South Washington County Cable 

Communications Commission 
445 Broadway Avenue 
St. Paul Park, MN 55071 
Voice: 612-458-9241 
Fax: 612-459-6520 

Vince Hamilton, At-Large 
Director 

General Manager, Access Houston 
3900 Milam, Houston, TX 77006 
Voice: 713-524-7000 
Fax: 713-524-3823 
E-mail: acchou@sccsi.com 

Mike Henry, At-Large Director 
Executive Director, Community 

Access of Saiina 
P.O. Box 645, Saiina, KS 67402, 
Voice: 913-823-2500 
Fax: 913-827-7898 
E-mail: henrymp@aol.com 



James Horwood, Legal Affairs 

Appointee 
Attorney- at- Law, Spiegel & 

McDiarmid 
1350 New York Ave., N.W., Ste. 

1100, Washington, DC 20005 
Voice: 202-879-4000 
Fax: 202-393-2866 
E-mail: 

horwoodj@spiegel.becltd.com 

Carl Kucharski, At-Large 
Director 

96 Monroe Street, Somerville, MA 

02143 
Voice: 617-776-2645 
Fax: 617-776-2645 
E-mail: ptwscat@igc.org 

Paul LeValley, Information 

Services Chair 
Executive Director, Arlington 

Community TV 
3401 North Fairfax Drive, 

Arlington, VA 22201 
Voice: 703-524-2388 
Fax: 703-908-9239 
E-mail: paul@channel33.org 

Debbie Mason, Southwest 

Regional Chair 
Studio Manger, Cable Access of 

Dallas, Inc. 
1253 Round Table, Dallas, TX 

75247 
Voice: 214-631-5571 
Fax: 214-637-5342 

Julianne Murray, Farwest 

Regional Chair 
Executive Director, SNCAT 
4024 Kietzke Lane, Reno NV 

89502 
Voice: 702-828-1211 
Fax: 702-828-1337 
E-mail: jmmurray@aol,com 

Anthony Riddle, International 
Chair 

P.O. Box 40-1258, Brooklyn, NY 

11240-1258 
Voice: 212-946-1868 
E-mail: gaia@mtn.org 

Gladys Rogers, EO Appointee 
2456 N. Hubbard Street, Milwaukee, 

WI 53212 
Voice: 414-265-3634 
E-mail: grogers@pot.its.mcw.edu 

David Vogel, Southeast Regional 
Chair 

General Manager, Community 

Television of Knoxville 
912 S. Gay Street, Ste. 600, 

Knoxville, TN 37902 
Voice: 423-521-7475 
Fax: 423-971-4517 
E-mail: ctv@usit.net 



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16 CMR 



Keynote Speech 



Continued from page 14 

one-to-many communication channel that 
results in an uneven distribution of political, 
social and economic power to the 'ones' who 
communicate to the 'many.' Corporations, 
governments and religious organizations have 
always had the greatest access to communica- 
tion infrastructure and the trend has accelerated 
in just the last few decades. (See the book 
Media Monopoly by Ben Bagdikian). Some of 
the more "privileged" members of our species 
are engaged in a global communication network 
that allows many-to-one, one-to-many and one- 
to-one digital communication. 



"It seems only 
natural that we 
would create a 
global feedback 
mechanism that 
functions 
somewhat like our 
biological one." 



They can access information, exchange data 
and weave webs of information and thoughts into the 
virtual global neural net. The network provides this 
linked group of humans with the advantage of 
"seeing" and "hearing" on a global level This 
provides them with an opportunity for predicting the 
future — anticipating change — at the global level. The 
members of this group have created a feedback 
mechanism that is far greater than any other species. 
Given that humans are here to perpetuate the DNA 
they are transporting, there might be some connec- 
tion between the evolution of our language, commu- 
nication technology and the evolution of our species. 

See Keynote, page 22... 



Community 
Media: 

Thriving in^ 
the Technology^ 
Revolution 




1995 Videotapes Now Available 

Hometown Ceremony and Highlights 



1995 Hometown Video Festival Awards Ceremony Videotape 
Alliance Members: □ $45 (VHS) □ $100 (3/4") Non-members: □ $75 (VHS) Q$150 (3/4") 

1995 Hometown Video Festival Highlights Videotape 
Alliance Members: Q$120 (VHS) □ $150 (3/4") Non-members: □ $160 (VHS) □ $200 (3/4") 

Also Available 

The most detailed compilation of access organizations in the United States! 



1994 Community Media 
Resource Directory 

♦ Almost 1,000 listings of public, educational, and government 
access organizations throughout America and the world 

♦ Listings are arranged by state and include address, contact person, 
telephone number, fax number and e-mail address 

♦ Each entry includes type of organization, budget size, hours of 
original programming, area population, number of subscribers, and 
more! 

Alliance Members: G$40 Non-members: ^$60 

Payment must accompany order. Please include order with 
check and mail to the Alliance for Community Media 
666 11th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001-4542 

CMRD funding provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 




i 





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CMR 17 



Watchers of local TV news in 
Grand Rapids, Michigan 
recently had exposure to three 
stories pertaining to "Controversial 
Programming on Public Access". During 
May and June, news crews from the CBS, 
NBC and ABC affiliates each 
jumped on the story 
of uncensored 
"smut" appear- 
ing on commu- 



Dangerous TV 



nity cable 
apparently with the 
blessing of GRTV officials. These stories 
referred to locally produced, late night 
music video shows that at one time or 
another contained segments which most 
would consider tasteless. Each news 
program took a slightly different angle on 
the topic but all seized the opportunity to 
point a finger at public access and alert the 
community to the potential dangers of 
letting just anybody have free speech. 

My first reaction to the media on- 
slaught was, "Here we go again! Why 
does the corporate media insist on 
portraying public access as purveyors of 
sleaze when 99% of our programming is 
positive, community oriented and gener- 
ally inoffensive?" But when I had some 
time to reflect, I realized that it wasn't 
personal They are just doing their job 
which (of course) is selling Toyotas, tennis 
shoes and toilet paper. Controversy helps 
them to sell products. 

With some of the animosity behind 
me, I was able to recognize this experience 
as a rare opportunity to examine the news- 
gathering process and also spend some 
serious time pondering the nature of my 
job. Why should I go out on a limb (and 
into people's living rooms) defending 
unpopular and perhaps tasteless speech? 

Since all three networks chose to 
interview me, 1 was able to make some first- 
hand comparative observations. First; I 
sensed that the individual reporters were a 
little ashamed to be doing the story as 
each confided their personal empathy, 
some pointing to their corporate entities as 
making them do the stories against their 
own personal judgement. 1 suppose that 
calling it empathy could be kind. Perhaps it 
was manipulation. 

1 also noticed that it really doesn't 
matter that much what you say in an 
interview. You can only illustrate the 
reporter's pre-conceived notions. They are 
looking for a particular line that they would 
have written themselves but journalistic 

18 CMR 



by Chuck Peterson 



practices require that they get you to say 
it. Even if you make an incredibly pro- 
found, concise statement about your 
position, they are under no obligation to 
use it. 

The most enlightening revelation to 
me was the notion posed by the 
reporters that TV is 
supposed to be 
safe! 1 think 
they all 
believed that 
their own stations 
protected the public from dangerous 
images and ideas. I beg to differ! Which is 
more dangerous to society; public access 
which occasionally portrays fringe 
opinions from the real world or commercial 
TV which is designed to create an audi- 
ence of passive consumers? 

Television is not safe! It is a powerful 
drug and like all drugs it can be used for 
good purposes and it can be abused. Like 
any recreational drug, TV viewing should 
be regulated in the home by a responsible 
adult and while under its influence one 
should question what one perceives. 
Bringing TV into the home is a risk and 
with that risk should come responsibility. If 
you, as a parent, 
bring alcohol or 
other drugs into 
your home, you put 
it on a high shelf or a 
locked cupboard. 
The same precau- 
tions should be 
taken With your TV. 
Unfortunately, 
society has allowed 
commercial TV to be 
perceived as safe 
and in many house- 
holds is even used 
as a babysitter. This 
tragic perception (I 
believe) is largely 
responsible for a 
society where 
consuming is the 
national pastime, 
people pay to put a 
billboard of their 
favorite product on 
their clothing and 
kids carry guns 
which they use to 
shoot other kids 
over their product- 
sponsored clothing. 




I would never try to pass off the 
above mentioned, citizen sponsored, late 
night, music video shows on GRTV as safe 
for general consumption. Perhaps they are 
even harmful to some naive minds. 
Allowing them to be shown brings me no 
particular joy. The principle behind their 
being permitted to be shown on a public 
forum is the principle expressed in the First 
Amendment to our Constitution: the right 
of every individual to not be persecuted 
for their speech whether it be religious, 
critical of government or even "bad" art. 

The complaint of many is that certain 
programs should be scrambled to prevent 
unqualified censors (teenagers) from 
watching "unsafe" programs (sort of like a 
child protective cap). Ironically, the motive 
for scrambling programs on pay TV has 
little to do with protecting society and 
everything to do with making money. 
Seeing nudity or hearing foul language is 
not illegal on cable TV. Non-commercial, 
legal speech is permissible on access. 
Determined teenagers will always find a 
way to acquire the forbidden whether it be 
drugs or TV images. Parents can only help 
them to make informed decisions. 

I do not disagree with the concept of 
scrambling programs containing adult 
material; however, I think the first step 
would be a Surgeon General's warning 
between ail commercial TV programs that 
says: 

Watching television may lull your 
See Dangerous Television, page 23.,. 




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First Amendment Preservation 



Alliance Goes to Supreme Court 



".-.cable TV 
operators would 

nix programs 
that merely hint 

at being 
controversial/' 



Release from ACM National Office 

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. 
Supreme Court announced 
today that it will review the 
constitutionality of a 1992 law authorizing 
cable company censorship of some types 
of constitutionally-protected speech on 
some cable television 
access channels. The case, 
Alliance for Community 
Media et al. v. Federal 
Communications Commis- 
sion (FCC), involves the 
named petitioner, along with 
co-petitioners Alliance for 
Communications Democ- 
racy and People for the 
American Way. The case 
will be decided in conjunction with a 
companion case also brought against the 
FCC by the '90s Channel and the Ameri- 
can Civil Liberties Union. 

Barry Forbes, Executive Director of 
the Alliance for Community Media, stated, 
4 'The very idea of the government autho- 
rizing cable TV operators to regulate the 
content of public access channels is 
ludicrous! More than likely, the cable TV 
operators would nix programs that merely 
hint at being controversial. We believe 
programming should be held to community 
standards as determined by the courts — 
and we're delighted the Supreme Court has 
chosen to review this important govern- 
ment censorship case." 

The Alliance and the co-petitioners 
are appealing the June 6, 1995 decision of 
the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 
Alliance for Community Media et al. v. FCC 
(56 F,3d 105). The Supreme Court will be 
reviewing a section of the 1992 Cable Act 
that stems from a last-minute Senate floor 
amendment. The section under challenge 
enables the operator of a cable television 
system to prohibit programming on public, 
educational or governmental access cable 
channels (commonly referred to as "PEG 
access") based on content. Affected 
programming could include programs on 
the AIDS/HIV epidemic, abortion, child- 
birth, art censorship, and civil disobedi- 
ence. 

As written, the 1 992 statute allows a 
cable operator to suppress programming 
which contains so-called "indecent" 



material, or material soliciting or promoting 
unlawful conduct. Also being challenged 
are 1993 FCC regulations implementing the 
statute. 

u This case has enormous implications, 
not only for the content of television 
programming, but for freedom of expres- 
sion and the right of privacy on 
any electronic medium which 
the federal government 
attempts to regulate," stated 
Forbes. "An adverse decision 
could expand the rights of the 
government to decide what 
people can say and what 
viewers can see over the cable 
medium." 

Originally, a three-judge 
panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals 
found that the 1992 provision violated the 
First Amendment, which prohibits govern- 
ment interference with free expression and 
communication. The initial opinion would 
have struck down the provision, and 
consequently prohibited operators of 
cable television systems from censoring 
any materials protected by the First 
Amendment. However, the FCC asked for 
and received a rehearing by the entire 
appeals court for of the District of Colum- 
bia circuit. The eleven -member court 
overturned the previous panel's determina- 
tion, holding that any censorship that 
might occur on PEG and leased access 
channels would be a legitimate exercise of 
editorial discretion by the cable operator, 
incidental to its proprietary rights. Be- 
cause, according to the court, the actions 
would be those of private entities against 
other private entities, the censorship 
would not be subject to the same level of 
judicial scrutiny under the First Amend- 
ment as direct government censorship. 

"We believe that the D.C. Circuit 
dismissed the First Amendment jurispru- 
dence on 'state action' and 'public forum' 
doctrines," stated Forbes. "The earlier 
decision missed the point that public and 
leased access channels were created as 
public fora by federal, state and local laws. 
As government-created entities, they 
should be subject to the most rigorous 
First Amendment protections. We're 
pleased that the Supreme Court will give 
us an opportunity to settle this important 



point." 

The law firm of Shea & Gardner, 

which represented the Alliance petitioners 
before the FCC and in both phases of the 
D.C. Circuit proceedings, will continue its 
pro-bono services to the Alliance and co- 
plaintiffs. Representation will also be 
provided by staff attorneys at People for 
the American Way and the Media Access 
Project 

The Alliance for Community Media is 
a national, non-profit membership 
organization committed to assuring 
everyone '$ access to electronic media. The 
Alliance accomplishes this by disseminat- 
ing public information, advancing a 
positive legislative and regulatory 
environment, building coalitions, and 
supporting local organizing. Founded in 
1976, the Alliance represents the interests 
of over 950 public, educational and 
governmental ("PEG") access organiza- 
tions and local origination cable services 
throughout the country. The Alliance also 
represents the interests of local religious, 
community, charitable and other organi- 
zations throughout the country who 
utilize PEG access channels and facilities 
to speak to their memberships and their 
larger communities. 

Information 
is Power 

Continued from page 9 

tions; 

5) Information on the state of relations 
between your access center and the 
cable company, whether good or ill; 

6) Information on difficulties encountered 
in starting or maintaining an access 
center, whether technical, contractual, 
legal, or political; 

7) Information on other services your 
center provides (particularly internet 
and computer access related); 

8) Information on how access is making a 
positive difference in the lives of both 
producers and viewers. 

Your cooperation would help assure 
that the Alliance can provide the type of 
information policymakers and the public 
needs to get the full story on public 
access. Thanks! 

CMR 19 



Organism Internet 



Continued from page 5 

Theuth, who was the inventor of many things, including 
number, calculation, geometry, astronomy and writing. 
Theuth exhibited his inventions to King Thamus, claiming 
that they should be made widely known and available to 
Egyptians, Thamus inquired into the use of each of them, 
and as Theuth went through them expressed approval or 
disapproval, according as he judged Theuth 's claims to be 
well or ill founded. It would take too long to go through all 
that Thamus is reported to have said for and against each of 
Theuth '$ inventions. But when it came to writing, Theuth 
declared, 'Here is an accomplishment, my ^^^^^^ 
lord the King, which will improve 
both the wisdom and memory of 
the Egyptians. I have discovered 
a sure receipt for memory and 
wisdom. J To this, Thamus replied, 'Theuth, 
my paragon of inventors, the discoverer of and art is not the 
best judge of the good or harm which will accrue to those 
who practice it. So it is in this; you, who are the Father of 
writing, have out of fondness for your off-spring attributed 
to it quite the opposite of its real function. Those who 
acquire it will cease to exercise their memory and become 
forgetful; they will rely on writing to bring things to their 
remembrance by external signs instead of by their own 
internal resources. What you have discovered is a receipt 
for recollection, not for memory. And as for wisdom, your 
pupils will have the reputations for it without the reality: 
they will receive a quantity of information without proper 
instruction, and in consequence be thought very knowl- 
edgeable when they are for the most part quite ignorant. 
And because they are filled with the conceit of wisdom 
instead of real wisdom they will be a burden to society. " 

-Postman, Technopoly 
Beware of false prophets who worship in the temple of 
profits. Motives rule. Technology has always been a two-edged 
sword. It is somewhat amusing in this regard to hear commercial 
reports on the Internet that portray it as savior or satan or both at 
once. Postman goes on to point out that radical technologies 
create new definitions of old terms. Thamus mentions that writing 
will change what is meant by the words "memory" and "wisdom," 
He fears that memory will be confused with mere "recollection," 
and he worries that wisdom will become indistinguishable from 
mere knowledge. 

"...technology imperiously commandeers our most impor- 
tant terminology. It redefines freedom, ' 'truth, ' 'intelli- 
gence, ' fact, ' wisdom, 1 'history ' - all the words we live by. 
And it does not pause to tell us. And we do not pause to 
ask. "■ 

You combine the insidious usurping of values with the 
disintegration of time/space relativity due to the nature of ones 
and zeros cursing at the speed of light, and Pandora opens 
another box she didn't even know she had. No doubt the 6 horse 
is out of the barn' but reasoned debate based on fundamental 
facts needs to attract Americans like the OJ affair. 

If we are destined, as Thoreau states, "to be tools of our 
tools," then how can we rein in this info-virus to a manageable 
trot? Regardless of our mechanical and technical wizardry to 

20 CMR 



move ones and zeros in gigabits at gigahertz, our eyes and ears 
receive all this data only slightly faster than our grandparents. 
And short of bioengineering, our grandchildren will digest info 
only slightly faster than us. And what of the motives of the 
technophrophets? Historical indications are that the vast 
majority of information technology (radio/television) will be 
commandeered to intermittently entertain us between pitches to 
purchase and consume. 

One critical and legitimate component communities have to 
guide the growth of the Information Circulation System is the 
public right-of-way. Every commercial telecommunication 
. provider that wants to do business in any 

community has to use community-owned 
| space whether it's the strip between the 
" sidewalk and the curb or the air over our 
heads. We the people own the public 
airwaves and the rights-of-way in our community. 
A fair approach to blend the needs of free enterprise with 
community building is to trade access to the community space 
(right of way) for space on the telecompanies' systems. Addi- 
tionally a price per mile fee paid and applied to community 
networks and public access sites would round things out nicely. 
If communities have access to a free percentage of the veins and 
arteries and can fuel information training, tools and traffic from a 
small percent of gross revenues from commercial providers, they 
can build the foundation for a smart community to evolve. 

Whether Planet Earth or an amoeba, for any organism to 
thrive and prosper a proper balance needs to be maintained. Not 
too much or too little fuel, oxygen, water, wind or information. 
Communication is one of the most fundamental building blocks 
on Earth from the replication of DNA to the code sequence for 
nuclear missile launch. World citizens need to weigh the advan- 
tages and disadvantages of the Information Circulation System 
with the knowledge to guide the inevitable. Will information 
technology liberate us or subjugate us? Will we be empowered or 
disenfranchised? Will the information rich get richer and the info 
poor, poorer? Will we need to cross the bioengineering line to 
increase the speed of our information reception? Can we feed 
people with fiber optics? I don't know, but I hope so, since 
futurists predict overpopulation and starvation as the most 
critical survival event for our species next century. 

Dirk Koning is Chair of the Alliance for Community Media's 
Editorial Board and Executive Director of the Community 
Media Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 



Alliance Web Site 

Continued from page 7 

Ron Fitzherbert <ron@penguin.net>; Ann Flynn 
<aflynn@innet.com>; Mike Henry <henrymp@aol.com>; Dirk 
Koning <dirk@grcm c . org> ; Paul Levalley <paul@channel33.org>; 
Anne C. Mitchell <amitchel@ednetl.osl.or.gov>; Julianne Murray 
<jmmurray@aol.com>; Tony Riddle <gaia@mtn.org>; and Richard 
Turner <rdturner@aol.com>. 

Kari Peterson is Chair of the Alliance Information Infra- 
structure Committee as well as Executive Director of Davis 
(California) Community Television. 



"Will information technology 
liberate us or subjugate us?" 



Had Enough 
Interactive" Hype? 



Twelve Tips 

Continued from page 6 

critical documentary, aired several times, will undoubtedly grab the 
attention of your fellow journalists. Remember to remind them when 
the show is airing. 

Tip #8: Keep up with the hot issues in the media. Read your 
local papers and the mainstream press to see what is being written 
about. If some of your programming deals with a "hot" issue, write a 
press release about it, explaining why the show is relevant to the 
issue and how it contributes to the debate. 

Tip #9: Find appropriate occasions to sponsor "press events." 
Offering your facilities to local charities and non-profit groups for 
fundraisers and parties will bring press people into your center and 
give them an opportunity to see what you are doing. This is a good 
opportunity to drive home the message that PEG access is a part of 
community life. 

Tip #10: Don't shy away from controversy. Don't be afraid to let 
the mainstream media know if you are having a dispute with a cable 
operator. The press corps loves a fight and the dispute will give you 
an opportunity to educate the reporter about your issues. This kind 
of story is a natural for "Community David v. Corporate (out-of-town) 
Goliath" reportage — an aspect worth playing up. It gives you an 
opportunity to put your "spin" on the story. 

Tip #11: Write opinion pieces and letters to the editor. Stress 
the overall PEG access message and illustrate it appropriately. These 
"op-ed" pieces are especially powerful if tied to articles that have 
already appeared in your paper about the wonders of the information 
superhighway. Remember to drive home the message that PEG access 
is the public on-ramp to the information superhighway, and that on- 
line access helps build the skills and knowledge of community 
residents. 

Tip #12: Listen to the people on the street. Go to a local site 
(such as a shopping mall) and poll people on their views about public 
access. Better yet, videotape them and edit the positive comments for 
PSAs and promos. Be sure to listen to all the comments. The 
negative comments should be acknowledged and a response 
devised. The response can be part of your PSA. 

Building Momentum. You probably will not see immediate 
results — but don't give up! Your public relations program will create 
a positive impression over time. You'll find that your activities are 
considered newsworthy more often. As you get people's attention, 
you will likely get more political support from local officials, bigger 
budgets from your city government, and you will increase the 
number of people in the community who are willing to go to bat for 
PEG access. In 1995, every additional bit of support counts! 

Jeffrey Hops is Director of Government Relations for the 
Alliance for Community Media, Special thanks to Boston Neighbor- 
hood Network Public Information Director Mary Clayton Crozier 
for her ideas and suggestions. 

Trainers 9 SIG 

Continued from page 8 

jesikah mariaross, Davis Community Television, 1623 5th St., Ste. A, 
Davis, CA 95616. Phone (916) 757-2419, e-mail: jmross@wheel.dcn. 
davis.ca.us. Incorporate training in everything you do. Communi- 
cate with others who have similar goals. Join the SIG. 

Julian Ross Braver and jesikah maria ross serve as co- 
coordinators of the ACM Trainers ' Special Interest Group, 



A lot of hype and flash have been thrown around the 
last couple of years regarding interactive this and that, 
including the information superhighway, Internet, World 
Wide Web (WWW), interactive bulletin boards, etc. 

If s time to set the record straight No hype. No bull. 
Just facts . . . 



FACT: 



_ RTC has been in the interactive media 
business longer than any other U.S. corporation— since 
1981. We've also been in cable TV and video since 1968. 



FACT; 



RTC produces RT2, the product that, more 
than any other on the market, gives the closest semblance 
to true interactivity on a cable TV channel for the least 
amount of money! Not just text, but graphics, sound, 
digitized imaging, and much more. . . RT2 challenges you 
and your viewers to be imaginative and creative, to explore 
and to grow, and it offers more tools, choices, possibilities, 
and directions. 



FACT: 



RTCs RT2 interactive systems currently run 
on public access, government, educational, senior center, 
and commercial channels in ten states, at over twenty 
locations, and abroad. 



FACT: 



RTC now has the only product that enables 
you to offer your viewers not only interactivity with the 
databases you create locally, but access to Internet and 
the WWW as well! That's right, you can offer your viewers 
access to Internet and the WWW right on your cable TV 
channel through RT2. 

Oh, one more thing. Commodore Amiga is now ESCOM 
Amiga. Amiga, the first and only truly media computer is 
alive and well, and to celebrate RTC is knocking $500 
off the price of our basic RT2 package until 
Sept 1, 1995. 

If you want state of the art, interactive cable TV, kiosks, 
bulletin board systems, and/or phone database 
interactivity— or access to the internet and WWW over 
your cable TV channel, give us a call at 

1-800-369-6874 



RTC in 

RESPONSE TELEVISION CORPORATION 

Technology Innovation Center, Oakdale, Iowa 52319 



CMR 21 



Continued from page 17 

It seems only natural that we would 
create a global feedback mechanism that 
functions somewhat like our biological 
one. This network creates greater 
feedback and more rapid adaptation, 
perhaps leading to accelerated 
evolution. Has DNA passed on one of 
its evolutionary functions to our 
species or are we assuming it by 
mistake? Will this global communication 
network of satellites, digital radio signals 
fiber optic cable, coaxial cable, copper 
wires, packet switching technology, 
digital real-time video images, 
and other forms of computer 
mediated communication — 
cyberspace — create a neural net 
similar to our central nervous 
system? 

Cyberspace is already inhabited by a 
number of select humans. And then, there 
are the humans who are not in cyberspace 
and may never be. If this is an evolution- 
ary adaptive process linked to DNA 
somehow, will the "cyberspace" dwellers 
and "realspace" dwellers become so 



Keynote Speech 

divergent that they will develop into 
different species? It seems unlikely, but 
they are already in a different 
social/economic class. At the 
very least we need to 
acknowledge the 
widening gap between 
these two groups and 
begin to discern what 
effect this gap will 
have on our species. 
When the corporate 
media talks about 
cyberspace they are 
usually referring to the 
Internet in some way. 
Most of the "news" comes 
from the corporate media so 
our knowledge and under- 
standing of cyberspace 
(internet/ infobahn/multimedia/ 
video-on-demand/digital cash/wireless/ 
cellular) is based on their perceptions of it 
or more likely how they want to package it 
to continue using any and all forms of 
communication to sell products. Remem- 
ber, the role of the media is to keep 




capitalism in hyper-drive — consumption is 
everything, And realize that the media 

corporations are diversified 
transnational corporations 
and they want to control 
and use the global commu- 
nication network for their 
ends, keeping capital 
moving through their part of 
cyberspace. 

In the United States the 
use of the World Wide Web, 
a part of the Internet that 
moves the most packets of 
data, is currently dominated 
by rich white men. It is a 
frighteningly clear reflection 
of the current social/ 
economic/political power 
structure in the United 
States, and although it 
might not be white men in other parts of 
the globe they are mostly rich males. 

Is this global telecommunication 
network a result of the genetic algorithms 
that created our species? If so does that 

Continued on next page... 



The global 
communication 
network... may 
be more of a 
byproduct of 
our genetic 
algorithms 
than a selected 
result." 



An Invitation to Join the 



Alliance for Communications Democracy 



§ . . . increasing awareness 
of Community Television 
through educational 
programs and participation 
in court cases involving 
franchise enforcement and 
constitutional questions 
about access television. 



Become an Alliance Subscriber for $350/year anrj receive detailed reports on current court 
■ca$e$ threatening access, pertinetf historical case citations, and other Alliance activities. 

• Voting membership open to non-profit access operations for an annual 
contribution of $3,000. 

• Nonvoting memberships available to organizations and individuals at the following levels: 

> Alliance Associate, $2500 - copies of all briefs and reports. 

> Alliance Supporter, $500 - copies of all reports and .enclosures. 

> Alliance Subscriber,. $350 - copies of all reports, 

, Direct membership inquiries to Rob Bracing, Multnomah Community Television, 26000 SE Stark 
St., Gresham, OR 97038, or phone 503/667-7636, 



Voting Members: Chicago Access Corporation, Illinois * Montgomery Community Television, Inc., Mar/land * Staten Island Television, New York • Boston Community 
Access & Programming Foundation, Inc., Massachusetts • GRTV, Grand Rapids, Michigan • Tuscon Community Cable Corporation/Arizona •'Oleta The Corporation for 
Community TV, Hawaii • Multnomah Corpmufiity TV, Oregon • Manhattan Neighoorhood Network, New York •Cable Access St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Non-voting Member* City of Iowa City, Iowa* North Suburban Access Corp., Minnesota • Oakland County Cable Corporation, Michigan * Ann Arbor Community 
Access Television, Michigan * ColumbusTommunity Cable. Access, Inc., Ohio * Capital Community TV, Oregon • Cincinnati Community Video, Ohio • Alliance for Community 
Media, Central States Region • Alliance for Community Media, Far West Region • George Stoney, New York University, MY • Bronx Community Cable Programming, Inc., NY. 



22 CMR 



Keynote Speech 



Continued from previous page... 

mean that rich white men are the current 
pinnacle of our species evolution? Seems 
unlikely. The global communication 
network may have the appearance of a 
neural network, but it lacks in complexity, 
size and the ability to reproduce 
itself. And more important it' s 
too controlled to be a truly self- 
organizing system based on its 
complexity. It may be more of a 
byproduct of our genetic 
algorithms than a selected 
result. 

The digital global commu- 
nication network as it is 
currently unfolding is not going 
to empower and connect all the 
members of our species. It 
can't, because the corporations 
building it are not interested in 
altruism. And altruism is the 
reason it would make sense to 
network our species together. 

At the individual level our 
mind/body works together to 
maintain a healthy productive evolving 
person. It does this by efficiency, coopera- 
tion and communication. We are con- 
stantly engaged in altruism within our- 
selves. So what happens if we expand our 
communication to more and more of these 
mind/bodies that are engaged in efficiency, 
cooperation and communication? Would 
the world be a better place? Would we lose 
our diversity and become a monoculture? 
Some fear a "global village" instead of a 
"globe of villages." A liver cell and a 
fibroblast look and act differently, and yet, 
they work together in our bodies for the 
good of the whole. 

Can we all be connected and improve 
the lot of humanity? Will digital communi- 
cation networks move us towards that 
understanding? Maybe that depends on 
who takes part in it. 

Complexity th eory postulates that 
systems reach a certain level of complexity 
and either evolve to another level of 
organization, fall into chaos and collapse, 
or fail because there isn't enough complex- 
ity to fuel the system. All current DNA life 
forms have passed the test of continuing 
to increase in complexity without falling 



"...the globe is 
being "wired" and 
I don't think we 
have the option 
not to pay close 
attention to that. 
It will change the 
way our species 
coevolves with 
the earth." 



into chaos or simplicity. Do life forms that 
fail, fail from too much complexity or too 
little? Do social structures fail because of 
too much or too little complexity? Probably 
both events happen, too much and too 
little — the edge is a fine line. 

Networking our species 
globally, and I mean all 
members of the species 
who want to be, would 
most certainly increase 
complexity. What would 
happen then? Would we 
evolve to a new level of 
human organization or fall 
into chaos? 

I realize we need to make 
communication work at 
several levels below 
global: family, community, 
and bioregion. But the 
globe is being "wired" 
and I don't think we have 
the option not to pay 
close attention to that. It 
will change the way our 
species coevolves with 
the earth. 

We do have choices, 
lots of choices about how 
to be involved, too 
numerous to mention. 
Each of us needs to be 
engaged in life the best 
we can; to be present is to 
communicate. 

In the absence of 
presence there is no 
communication. Without 
communication there is no 
change. Be here now, take 
part, we all make a 
difference. If we all make a 
difference; it will be 
different. 

Bob Russell is the co- 
director of the 
Neahtawanta Research 
and Education Center in 
Traverse City, Michigan 
and a partner in Traverse 
Communication Com- 
pany, a commercial 
Internet service provider. 



Dangerous 
Television 

Continued from page 18 

brain in an alpha state making you 
highly suggestible to sponsor 
messages and values. Watch criti- 
cally! 

My point is, commercial TV news 
condemning a small percentage of commu- 
nity programming is a bit like "the pot 
calling the kettle black." 

On the plus side, I agree with one 
reporter who said, "It will give you the 
opportunity to publicize your side of the 
story." It was fun and challenging to try 
and express the mission of GRTV through 
the blinding sensationalism of TV News 
headlines. It is an important message in an 
era when free speech is at risk... which is 
precisely why I go out on a limb for 
unpopular speech, 

Chuck Peterson is Station Manager 
of GRTV, public access television in 
Grand Rapids, Michigan, an affiliate of 
the Community Media Center. 





CONTROL FOR 

OPERATION • UNATTENDED RECORDING 
MfDEQ & AUDIO SWITCHING 



LEIGHTRONIX, I 



2330 Jarco Drive Holt, Ml 48842 




CMR 23 




"1 alliance join Your Community Media Colleagues! 
^ community Support the Alliance's Public Policy Fund 

m MEDIA 



Thanks to the generosity of many of your colleagues, the Alliance for Community Media has been successful in pushing 
our legislative agenda with Congress and in informing you of the results. But our work cannot stop here! The Alliance 
must now work with the FCC, monitor state legislation, and prepare for our First Amendment case before the Supreme 
Court! As you know, our current dues structure cannot support an ongoing public policy program. Please join the Public 
Policy Council by contributing $2,500 or more, or join the Public Policy Network for $500. fn the meantime, please thank 
your colleagues who have made our public policy efforts possible: 

Public Policy Council Members ($2,500 or more) 

ACCESS TUCSON, Tucson AZ; BOSTON NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORK, Boston MA CHICAGO ACCESS CORPORATION, 
Chicago IL, CENTRAL STATES REGION, Alliance for Community Media; MANHATTAN NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORK, New 
York NY, MULTNOMAH COMMUNITY TV, Gresham, OR; NORTH SUBURBAN ACCESS CORP., Roseville MN; NORTHWEST 
COMMUNITY TV/WCAC Brooklyn Park MN; "OLELO: THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC ACCESS, Honolulu HI 

Public Policy Network Members ($500 and Si.ooo] 

ACCESS SACRAMENTO, Sacramento CA; ACTV2 1 /COLUMBUS COMMUNITY CABLE, Columbus OH; AMHERST COMMUNITY TELE VIS ION, 
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Yarmouth MA; CAPITAL COMMUNITY TELEVISION, Salem OR; CINCINNATI COMMUNITY VIDEO, Cincinnati OH, CITIZEN TELEVISION, 
New Haven CT, CITY OF ST. PAUL, St. Paul MN; COMMUNITY ACCESS CENTER, Kalamazoo Ml, COPEN & LIND, Amherst, MA, DCTV, 
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